weather icon Clear

Who is that masked man?

The other day, my husband and I had to run out to the grocery store to pick up a few things. In these days of COVID-19, it was certainly a different experience than it had been before.

As we were checking out, we were chatting with the cashier, and, as often happens, my hubby decided to tell a joke.

Only this time, the joke wasn’t really funny. It was more of an observation about how times have changed.

He commented about how having people come up to the cashier wearing a mask was much less scary than those who were not wearing masks.

While employees are being required to wear masks when at work, and customers are being asked to, not all people choose to don face coverings.

For most of us, the only time we saw people wearing masks — aside from at Halloween — was when they were performing medical procedures that require a sterile environment.

Occasionally, travelers from the East were seen wearing them, and we saw them in abundance when watching old Westerns or crime programs on television or at the movies. I’m sure no one can imagine what the Lone Ranger would be like without his trademark mask.

Naturally, there are merits to both sides of the debate, pro- and anti- mask. But more than that, it brings to mind questions about what will be considered normal in the future. I’m guessing that we won’t even pause or give a second thought to seeing people wearing masks.

Here’s why.

Way back in early 2001, we were able to fly without giving much thought to what we were packing in our suitcases, what was in our carry-on luggage or what we were wearing. As long as we had the appropriate passes and tickets, we just boarded our planes and were on our way.

But after the terrorist attacks, the Transportation Security Administration was created and began limiting what we were allowed to take with us on a plane. Families were no longer able to see us off at the gate and watch the plane take off. And you couldn’t even get to the departure gate without passing an inspection.

It was a strange experience and many folks balked at the changes and why they were instituted.

Today, however, they have become commonplace and it’s hard to remember what things were like before the TSA was put into action.

No matter what happens in the coming weeks, as fewer cases of COVID-19 are reported and restrictions begin to ease, I don’t believe we will ever return to life as it was before the pandemic.

Already government and business leaders are talking about putting procedures into place to ensure our health, such as taking our temperature before we enter a building. Eventually, we will forget that thermal scanners were not standard everywhere or that you didn’t have to make sure there was a mask and box of disposable gloves in every vehicle.

So I wonder, will we be able to visit friends in person? Will we be able to hug? Will we be able to share a bottle of wine and toast to the future? Will home-baked treats at the holidays become a thing of the past? At this point nothing is certain except there is much uncertainty in our futures.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Each of us can do our part to fight COVID

Are we able to make a difference in the threat that the COVID-19 virus presents? I believe we can make a big difference in lessening that threat. In fact, we are making a difference.

Let’s not make another mistake with SNWA

Every resident and business in Boulder City pays a wastewater charge. Boulder City wastewater is treated to Southern Nevada Health District standards for discharge into the desert and returned back to the aquifer.

Facts over fear

After reading last week’s lead article about the Boulder City Wastewater Pipeline proposal, I knew that it was incumbent upon me to defend both my support for the proposal as the city’s representative on the Southern Nevada Water Authority board and my honor. This proposal is an opportunity to divert over one million gallons a day (peak flow) of our wastewater (effluent) back to Lake Mead at no expense to Boulder City and was recommended by the Integrated Resource Planning Advisory Committee on which we, as a city, also have representation.

Nature’s wonders abound

Call me crazy, but Friday night I convinced my husband and parents to go out to a remote area of the desert in the blackness of night to see a comet.

Nation does not need groups the espouse division

“Black Lives Matter.” The statement itself is true; of course they matter. Brown lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter. We all matter. It is important to understand that the group that calls itself “Black Lives Matter” has very little to do with black lives. It has virtually nothing to do with a skin color or race.

Summer heat makes us want to (s)cream

To say that summer arrived with a vengeance would be an understatement. On Sunday, the mercury topped out at 115 F at the official weather station at the municipal airport, and it reached 120 F when I was driving in my car that afternoon.

Sharing knowledge part of identity

Did you ever wonder who you are and what your life is about?

Congress appears to be absent

This is what I have observed from a number of open sources regarding congressional sessions.

Recalls not effective way to govern

Elections have become increasingly ugly affairs. Even in, “Be Kind, Boulder City,” we can be wonderful to our neighbors and very tough on our politicians. A certain level of this is needed to keep politicians in check, but perhaps we are taking it too far. There is so much negativity that no matter who wins we often feel less than thrilled.